Friday, January 25, 2013

Futile Speculations

Here in Knoxville because of the valley that we sit in between two mountains the weather is about as erratic as it gets. You know the old saying "if you don't like the weather here just wait 24 hours, it will change?" Well, I believe that saying originated here! Within the span of 72 hours we will have gone from sunny and mild to freezing rain and ice and back to sunny and 60 again. Oh well, it is what it is.

I was musing to myself this week that just a cursory glance at the newspaper; or five minutes listening to any of the never ending newscasts on television will leave you with an idea of what a mess we have made of things in our world. You agree? However, this week as I watched events over the boob tube I was struck by a single sight. When I saw this group of people stroll across the big screen, a verse from God's Word strolled across my mind.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Romans 1:21 (NASB)

That phrase "...futile in their speculations.." was what hit me. It seems to me that our nation and our world have hit the wall. We have put God on the back burner, no, that's not accurate..we have put Him in the deep freezer. Our policies and laws no longer reflect an acknowledgment of God or His truth. Amen? Consequently, we as a nation and people have become futile in our speculations. Look at those two words.

Greek NASB Number: 3154
Greek Word: ματαιόω
Transliterated Word: mataioô
Root: from 3152;

Definition: to make vain, foolish:--
List of English Words and Number of Times Used
became futile (1).
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary
Greek NASB Number: 1261
Greek Word: διαλογισμός
Transliterated Word: dialogismos
Root: from 1260;

Definition: a reasoning:--
List of English Words and Number of Times Used
argument (1),
disputing (1),
dissension (1),
doubts (1),
motives (1),
opinions (1),
reasonings (2),
speculations (1),
thoughts (3),
what...were thinking (2).
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

The dictionary definition of futile is "incapable of producing any result", "useless"

That is what is happening in our nation and world today. Without God and His truth as a measuring rod, our thoughts and opinions,...our reasonings and speculations of what is the right course have become futile or useless. Not only have our thoughts and reasonings become useless, they are INCAPABLE of producing ANY results! Folks, that is a scary proposition. If you read on in that chapter, it says that because of this futility their hearts became "darkened." They exchanged the one true God for false Gods and became foolish. Sound familiar? Let me state this here and now. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way.

6 Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
John 14:6 (NASB)

I saw a Facebook post from one of my friends this week, it went something like this.
In our lives when we "wing it" on our own without God's way,instead of winging it we end up "hoofing it" doing it our own way. That pretty well describes the current plight of our world don't you think? One of my favorite verses is found in the Book of Proverbs:

3 The foolishness of man ruins his way, And his heart rages against the Lord.
Prov 19:3 (NASB)

You see when we as individuals and we as a nation decide to "wing it", or "do our thing" we end up in trouble. We ruin our way. But, the kicker is that we find a way to blame God for all our woes and the fruit of our ways. Amen?! That's the way of it today isn't it?We refuse to acknowledge God in our political houses, in our schools, and pretty much in all of our public life, then BLAME HIM when things go awry. Hear me. The Ten Commandments are not the cause of all our problems, they are the SOLUTION! Through all of this though God remains faithful. He is still chomping at the bit to show His power and love in our lives .

9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
2 Chron 16:9 (NASB)

Read the story that accompanies this verse. It's about a King that had trusted in the Lord IN THE PAST, but had failed to trust Him in this particular instance. Much the same as what is going on today.
At any rate, whether or not our nation chooses to acknowledge God, indeed whether or not our
world chooses to acknowledge Him,He is WILLING AND ABLE to work in your and my life. Listen, He isn't looking for some great confession of faith, neither is He looking for perfection in our lives. He simply wants us to acknowledge Him as God and Jesus His Son as savior. THEY WILL DO THE REST! AMEN?!

The world has it's course and God has His. I can PROMISE you this. The God of all the Earth is going to win out. It's all going to end up EXACTLY the way He says it is. Jesus Christ is KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS. All we need do is acknowledge that fact in our hearts and He will do the rest.He is ABLE to see us through.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:13-14 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, January 18, 2013

Angry Birds

Ever see that internet game Angry Birds? I have never played it and don't know anything about it. I asked my sister if she had ever played it and she told me that she had and it made her angry just playing it!lol I daresay if you look on the internet these days, you will not only see some angry birds but a whole host of angry people! Amen? The debate rages over any number of issues and the longer the dialogue continues the more heated the combatants become. Remember that song that said "everybody's right and nobody's wrong"(Buffalo Springfield? Can't remember) At any rate,"Have you ever gotten angry?" Now that's a no brainer isn't it. This message is born from an incident that your's truly had a few days ago. I got angry. I mean I got really angry. To be honest I lost control and "went off." Ever had one of those episodes? Yeah, I feel ya. You know God has a sense of humor though. Not 24 hours after my outburst I opened my Bible and it"automatically" opened to the Book of James where my eyes immediately fastened on the 19th verse..

19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20 (NASB)

My attention was drawn to vs.20. "...the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God."

The KJV is a little more forceful. It uses the word wrath.

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20 (KJV)

That was closer to what happened inside of me.It was beyond anger it was wrath!!(smile)

It seems these days there is a lot to make us angry. Forget the politics and whatnot, the PRESSURE of just surviving is enough to make you holler. You work your backside off just to stay afloat and in a lot of cases you still take a step backwards.Amen?

If we aren't careful it can build up inside of us. You know how it goes don't you. It starts out with pressure at, money, you fill in the blank. Then you get a raw deal at work. Maybe it's a reprimand that you didn't deserve. Maybe you got passed over for the promotion. Maybe,God forbid, you just got laid off. Then you go to church seeking some refuge and someone says something hateful to you or no one says anything to you at all! And to top it off you get the flu bug or one of the kids hurt themselves at football or cheerleading practice.... WHATEVER!Can you relate? It seems like it never ends. You are doing the best you can and it just keeps on keepin on. It's very easy to become resentful and bitter. Trust me on this, I HAVE BEEN THERE! Here's what the Bible says:

15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;
Heb 12:15 (NASB)

Man, it's a battle these days just to maintain your SANITY, much less those lesser(?) issues that plague us. But, if we can just tune into God there is a way out. If we can muster up enough faith to take it all to Him, He can fix it.

. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:5-7 (NASB)

That "everything" in vs.6 incudes all our anger and resentment. It takes in our hurt feelings and all the other trials and tribulations this life has to offer. He has promised to make it happen for us if we will just ASK Him.

Will you ever get your feelings hurt again? Yes. Will you still battle your emotions? Absolutely. Will the devil still try and bring you down? Count on it. BUT, there is help and hope. No, better than that there is deliverance in the Lord Jesus. He will give us grace to endure and overcome.

9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Cor 12:8-9 (NASB)

He is most powerful when we are at our weakest. His grace is SUFFICIENT for all of the mess that comes our way. Amen? AMEN!!

2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.
Psalms 18:2-3 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Just Want To Celebrate

Remember that song from Rare Earth? It came across my mind last night.

I just want to celebrate another day of livin'

I just want to celebrate another day of life.

That was brought a little closer home today as I sit writing this, well,actually writing some notes to this message in the ER of a local hospital. Memaw(my mother) had to come up here today for a problem. At any rate this song was playing through my head last night and I was reminded of a verse.

13 Come now, you who say, " Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit." 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away
James 4:13-14 (NASB)

Focus your attention on vs. 14. "You are just a vapor..." As I dwelt on that verse last night and now as I watch these people walk through these hospital doors I realize how fragile and fleeting this thing we call life really is. It can be altered or even snuffed out in a New York Minute.(thx Don Henley lol)

I'm realizing more and more that in my case every day with Memaw is a gift and is precious. It's been said a zillion times before but I feel the need to say it again today. It's very easy to get caught up in the business of living or should I say the BUSYness of living. Go to work, do this,do that, take BillyBob here, run Mary Jane there. I understand that. We've ALL been there. It is a part of living. But, sometimes we need a jolt to knock us off that treadmill and to smell the roses. Ya know what I'm sayin'? What I am trying to get across is that we all(you, me, ALL) should take a time out from the press and call a loved one just to say hello. Or maybe spend some time with the kids. Or better yet get alone and spend some time with God and let Him minister to us. You gettin' my drift here? This world can be a daunting place to live but it's the only one we have! Amen?

The Lord Jesus said He had a better way.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (NASB)

I just want to celebrate.

Look at this for a minute.

2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalms 18:2 (NASB)

"The Lord deliverer," Jesus is not only our Savior but He is our DELIVERER!

Hebrew NASB Number: 6403
Hebrew Word: ‏פָּלַט‎
Transliterated Word: palat (812b)
Root: a prim. root;

Definition: to escape:--
List of English Words and Number of Times Used
calves (1),
carries it off (1),
deliver (5),
delivered (4),
deliverer (5),
delivers (3),
escape (1),
preserve (2),
rescue (3).
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary


I just want to celebrate another day.

I don't know about you but I could stand a little deliverance! Amen? It's not more of this or more of that.It's a solution that we need. It's an answer, isn't that right? What is it for you? Crushed dream? Impossible circumstance? Sickness, defeat, hopelessness? Or is it the burden of just trying to survive? Whatever it is, you have a DELIVERER! He has promised US, His children,an ABUNDANT LIFE. Yes, there are storms all around. It is a fight! We are on a battleship not a cruise ship, BUT, we have a deliverer. Selah.There's a verse in Proverbs that says this.. (in our language today)"Pay attention to Me, then just relax." Let God do what He does best. Be God. Let's take a deep breath, breathe in, breathe out and relax. He is our refuge and strength, our high tower, our DELIVERER!

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
Psalms 27:1 (NASB)

God Bless

Friday, January 4, 2013


2013! PTL! We made it!! Fiscal cliff, Mayan calendar, praise God we're still standing!! One of my New Year's resolutions is to teach myself to keyboard. I downloaded a free program off the internet and have started practicing. HOWEVER, for my message this week it is hunt and peck, as it would be this time NEXT Friday getting this message out if I attempted to type in a correct manner. lol

I was musing this week on just what 2013 might hold and let me tell you brothers and sisters, if you look at 2013 through the world's glasses, IT AIN'T PRETTY.(excuse the bad grammar plz)
Our political landscape in this country and the entire world is uncertain. No... that's not the right word. It is broken, inoperative, etc.,etc.
Strolling over the economic landscape and it's like one of those huge rocks that you see out west being supported and balanced by a feather. Can I get a witness? As Supertramp said years ago "it's a bloody mess." BUT( you ought to do a study on the word but, it is interesting) BUT, as I was driving last night thinking about what I would write on today a verse ran across my mind's eye..

20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,
Eph 3:20 (NASB)

Greek NASB Number: 1410
Greek Word: δύναμαι
Transliterated Word: dunamai
Root: a prim. vb.;

Definition: to be able, to have power:--
—NASB Greek-Hebrew Dictionary

I did some snooping around in the Word to look at that word able. To have power. First off, what I found was that we of the human family are powerless to save ourselves.

25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:25 (NASB)

Not only that we can't keep or maintain that great salvation on our own merit.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Eph 2:7-9 (NASB)

BUT, HE is able to save and keep us.

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
Jude 1:24 (NASB)

You know something though? God not only has our spiritual back but He's got our physical and material back as well. Now, I am not one of those who maintain that we can walk through this life experiencing total victory in any and all circumstances just by standing in "our faith", or "walking in the power of God." I don't believe that is the teaching of the scriptures nor has that been my(or anyone else's that I know) experience. No, no. We all experience setbacks, disappointments, mistakes, lost battles, and sufferings.

Now, I don't know about you but as for me, a lot of times I have a hard time trusting God. You know what I mean? Sometimes in the face of difficult circumstances whether those circumstances are mine or someone close to me, I want to take matters in my hands. I want to do something or say something that will "fix" it or make it all better. Ya feelin' me?

You know it's a dangerous and brutal world out there these days. It can be frustrating and frightening all at the same time. But, if we can somehow learn to trust God to see us through, He has promised to do just that.

12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.
2 Tim 1:12 (NASB)

We are all at different stages of our lives. You may be starting out, family to support, kids to raise, or you may be on the other end of the cycle looking closely at eternity. It doesn't matter where you are we all have struggles and concerns.It could be anything.. money, kids, health, loneliness, a desire of your heart, the list stretches further than the eye or heart can see. But, the Apostle Paul at sometime had the light bulb turn on. At some point in his journey he learned a great truth. He became CONVINCED that God was ABLE, He had the POWER to keep or guard that which he had ENTRUSTED to him. Same with you and me. What are those issues that concern you? What is it that you just can't seem to get a grip on? What is that secret of your heart that you desire? God can make that future a great deal brighter. He can make that desire a reality. If you and I can just learn to trust God with those"cliffs" fiscal, spiritual or otherwise, then He is ABLE to get us to the other side. Amen?

11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Psalms 56:11 (NASB)

God Bless